MASTERS 1000 SHANGHAI - Federer outmuscles Schwartzman to reach the R16

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MASTERS 1000 SHANGHAI - Federer outmuscles Schwartzman to reach the R16

Roger Federer opened his campaign at the Shanghai Rolex Masters with a substantially comfortable 7-6(4) 6-4 win over the Argentine Diego Schwartzman. The Swiss No.1, playing his first official match since the quarterfinal defeat to Juan Martin Del Potro at the Us Open, reached the 40th win of the season, the number 1120 in his career.

Federer was the first to break in the sixth game. His backhand sounded too tricky to deal for the Argentine, and his carved forehand testified his level of accuracy.The Swiss maestro missed the first two chances but on the third his repeated defences with apparently easy sliced backhands forced Schartzman not to put enough pressure and finally, when he came in, his forehand dropshot lacked energy and pace.

But Federer gave the break back. Schwartzman delivered back-to-back winners from inside the baseline, the World No.2 saved three break points in a row with apparent ease but the Argentine had another, decisive chance.

Schwartzman, who repeatedly protested against the umpire Carlos Bernardes for a series of controversial calls, levelled soon at 4-4 and forced the first set ti a tiebreak.

The Argentine, eventually losing the 11th of 17 tiebreaks played this year, gained the opening minibreak. From 0-2 however, Federer won 7 of the next nine points and, helped by three crucial forehand error from his opponent, improved his win-loss record to 19-7 in the tiebreaks this season. The Swiss finished the set in 55 minute, the same time it took Nadal to win his whole match

Schwartzman became even more nervous when his forehand was wrongly called out when the Swiss was hitting the ball, Bernardes assigned the point to the Swiss when he probably had better to make them replay the point. Hopeless, Schwartzman surrender to a forehand return winner and started the second set giving away a break to love.

The Argentine lost his eight match this season against a top 10 opponent. Schwartzman, bidding to celebrate his first top 5 win in his career, had a chance to break back that Federer saved delivering his ninth ace. The contest was suddenly over, though Schwartzman managed to save a set point down 5-4 40-30 with an exquisite crosscourt pass.Federer closed the second with his final ace and beat the Peque for the second time in as many meetings.

Federer now awaits Alexander Dolgopolov who beat 7-6(4) 1-6 6-4 Feliciano Lopez who served 22 aces and won more points than his opponent. Dolgopolov improved to 18-7 his tiebreak win-loss record in 2017 and collected the 10th victory in the last 12 matches